Pubdate: Wed, 14 May 2008
Source: Huntsville Forester, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 The Huntsville Forester
Author: Peter Giaschi


I'm writing in reference to the article by Andre Picard in 
yesterday's Globe and Mail, "Scientists accuse Tories of 'despicable' 

The scientists' charges land squarely in the office of Muskoka-Parry 
Sound MP Tony Clement.

I must agree with Picard's assessment of the actions of Clement's 
ministry as regards the continued support for Insite (the safe 
injection site) in Vancouver. His position, to place a moratorium on 
research, is driven entirely by ideology.

The rigorous scientific research into the effectiveness of Insite in 
reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS doesn't tell him what he wants to 
hear, so he ends the research. Then he offers funds for research, but 
only if the research results are released after Insite is closed.

Unfortunately for Clement and his neo-con colleagues, the research 
demonstrates that Insite has had a significant positive impact on 
both the spread of HIV/AIDS and in addict rehabilitation.

In other words, there is a reduction of harm to the entire community, 
and fewer people using needles as they are rehabilitated.

One would think a minister of health would find this very positive. 
Instead, he does everything he can to shut Insite down, thereby 
ensuring that dirty needles will continue to be used, HIV/AIDS will 
continue to spread (and not just among drug users) and rehabilitation 
resources will be less available to addicts.

He must be very proud.

The only other group on the fringes of this issue supporting 
Clement's position are the police. Health-care workers support 
Insite. Social workers support Insite. Rigorous scientific research 
proves Insite's positive impact on the health of everybody in the community.

His response is to shut the scientists up?

But that would be like cutting funding for special education in 
Ontario schools, wouldn't it?

Ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our society are placed 
in an even more precarious position?

Who would do that?

Oh, that's right. He was in the Harris government, wasn't he?

We all should have seen this coming.

Peter Giaschi

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